Women’s ice hockey falls to Clarkson in NCAA Quarterfinals

Women's ice hockey falls to Clarkson in NCAA Quarterfinals

Max Molski

This season has been a year of firsts for Quinnipiac’s women’s ice hockey. The Bobcats won their first ever ECAC regular season title and conference tournament in head coach Cassandra Turner’s first season at the helm.

On Saturday afternoon, the No. 4 Bobcats hosted the No. 5 Clarkson Golden Knights in their fourth matchup of the season. It was the first time the Bobcats have hosted a National Collegiate Women’s Ice Hockey Quarterfinals game as they looked to make their first ever Women’s Frozen Four.

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Yet, Quinnipiac was unable to beat Clarkson for the third time on the year as it fell to the Golden Knights 1-0 to end its season.

“Clearly not the result that we wanted today,” Turner said. “But I think we, pretty quickly in our locker room, shifted to just how important [the seniors] have been to this program and how special this year has been.”

The Golden Knights, who Quinnipiac shut out in Sunday’s ECAC Championship Final, got off to a “Fast” start on Saturday. Renata Fast wristed a shot past Quinnipiac goaltender Sydney Rossman’s glove to give the Golden Knights a lead 10 seconds into the contest.

The goal was the quickest score in an NCAA Regional game since the tournament expanded to eight teams in 2005.

“It was really exciting. Right off the opening draw, we went after exactly what the gameplan was for us, being aggressive,” Fast said. “We won that faceoff and got it deep. Our players did a great job forechecking and the puck kind of just came out and sat there, so it was a great opportunity.”

Rossman kept Clarkson out of the Quinnipiac net for the rest of the contest. The junior, who entered the game with a .948 save percentage, stopped all 28 shots that came her way following Fast’s goal.

The Bobcats only registered two shots in the first period and nearly equalized late in the period. Lindsey West, Quinnipiac’s lone goal scorer in Sunday’s contest, hit the crossbar in the final minute of play.

Quinnipiac’s best chance in the second period came midway through when Taylar Cianfarano and Emma Woods put some shots on net. Yet, like Rossman, Clarkson’s goaltender Shea Tiley held firm in the period and through the rest of the contest, not allowing Quinnipiac to score on any of its 14 shots.

“They’re such a tough defensive hockey team,” Turner said. “They came out today with an edge and a battle. It was really impressive to see.”

The Bobcats had a chance to tie the game on the power play late in the contest. Clarkson’s Lorri Gabel was sent to the box for a hitting from behind penalty. However, Quinnipiac was unable to score with the player advantage.

The Bobcats had the puck in the Clarkson zone in the dwindling seconds, but Clarkson wedged the puck against the corner boards until the final horn to seal the 1-0 victory.

“We knew it was going to be tight. It probably helped that we were a little familiar with them coming into today’s game,” Clarkson head coach Matt Desrosiers said. “I just think our players really wanted it today. It showed out there.”

Quinnipiac ends its season with a record of 30-3-5. Although senior Nicole Connery noted that the loss hurt, the said that she is grateful for her four years as a Bobcat.

“It was painful, but I couldn’t think about anything but how lucky I am to feel that much pain, to feel that much love for a team my senior year,” Connery said.

The Bobcats will lose six players from this year’s roster. Yet, senior captain Sydney Roesler said she believes that this season is only the start for the returning group.

“All year, it was not us seniors talking to [the underclassmen]- it was them talking to us and saying, ‘We’re doing this for you guys,’” Roesler said. “It’s exciting to see where [the returning players] are going to take it because they have the biggest hearts and everyone works so hard. They’re taking what we’ve done and they’re going to just roll with it.”

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